Psalm 66

Psalm 66
How Awesome Are Your Deeds
To the choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm.

(1)Shout for joy to God, all the earth; 
(2)sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!
(3)Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
(4)All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name."
Selah

(5)Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
(6)He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him,
(7)who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations--let not the rebellious exalt themselves.
Selah

(8)Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard,
(9)who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
(10)For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
(11)You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; 
(12)you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

(13)I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you,
(14)that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
(15)I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats.
Selah

(16)Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
(17)I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue.
(18)If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
(19)But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

(20)Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

Psalm 66 is a song of praise. God has been good to the people of Israel, and God has been good personally to the author. This particular psalm is not signed. Some scholars believe it matches other psalms that David wrote and therefore he is clearly the author. Other scholars believe this psalm and a couple to follow are different and may have been written by or on the behalf of a later king, like Hezekiah.

To the choirmaster. A song. A psalm. Someone is leading worship in a house of God, and this psalm is being spoken or sung or both. Praise to God for His Awesome Works (NKJV).

Praise is the topic, and the subjects for song are the Lord’s great works, his gracious benefits, his faithful deliverances, and all his dealings with his people, brought to a close by a personal testimony to special kindness received by the prophet bard himself.

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892

“Shout for joy!” “Come and see!” “Come and hear!”

Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is. Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! Your enemies cringe before your mighty power. Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs."
Interlude
Psalm 66:1-4 NLT

The American Standard Version says, “Make a joyful noise unto God, all the earth!” The Psalmist here calls upon all people to praise the Lord, not just Israel. He knows that the Lord will be, and should be, praised by everyone on earth. And he is calling on believers to “shout for joy to God (ESV).” Something wonderful has happened, or the memory of something wonderful is being written about, and the author calls for pure joy and praise to the Lord.

God calls us to sing. He calls upon the devotion of the heart in worship to Him that is stirred when music is involved. Even Jesus sang.

Then he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Matthew 26:27-30

Sing. Shout. Praise. Proclaim to the world. Worship. Sing.

These verses tell us how to worship God, and they remind us that all the earth will sing to the Lord.

Selah…Interlude…

Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people! He made a dry path through the Red Sea, and his people went across on foot. There we rejoiced in him. For by his great power he rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance.
Interlude
Psalm 66:5-7 NLT

God’s mighty deeds are remembered! The Psalmist wants to take us by the hand to “see” what the Lord has done. Then, he picks two events in Israel’s history of God’s mighty saving deeds!

He turned the sea into dry land; they went through the river on foot. There we will rejoice in Him.
Psalm 66:6 NKJV

Take a good look at God's wonders--they'll take your breath away. He converted the sea to dry land; travelers crossed the river on foot. Now isn't that cause for a song?
Psalm 66:6 MSG

The Psalmist reminds us to worship and praise the Lord by remembering the mighty things He has done. There are so many throughout Israel’s history. There are so many times that He saved us as well. Remember what Jesus has done for you and for me. Sing praises and rejoice because of who He is and rest in the fact that His rule is forever.

The author could pick from countless miraculous ways the Lord intervened for His people, but he chose the Exodus of the people from Egypt crossing through the Red Sea (Exodus 14:13-30) and the crossing of the Jordan River into the Promised Land (Joshua 3:14-17).

Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises. Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling. You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.
Psalm 66:8-12 NLT

Now this is interesting, the author writes truth here. Being a follower of Jesus does not mean all is perfect. In fact, trials and troubles sometimes come as God works to refine our character. Right? But even during those times, believers can rest in assurance that His hand is upon His children.

And He will see us through.

All the saints must go to the proving house; God had one Son without sin, but He never had a son without a trial.

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892

God will see us through the fire and through the flood. He will not leave us in the trial. He watches us walk in; He is present with us within; and He will see us to the other side.

Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings to fulfill the vows I made to you--yes, the sacred vows that I made when I was in deep trouble. That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you--the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma, and a sacrifice of bulls and male goats.
Interlude
Psalm 66:13-15 NLT

The Psalmist switches from third person to first person here. Now he speaks about himself. I will come to your temple. I will bring my offerings.

The author here is fulfilling his vows. He called upon God during a time of great need. God came through. Now the author must fulfill his promise and praise the Lord with the best that he has…burnt offerings

I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah. (ESV)

The Lord rescued His people in a miraculous way. The Psalmist brings the best that he has. The “fattened” animals are the best, the healthiest, the strongest of the herd or flock. The one celebrating the Lord will bring rams and bulls and goats, the best of the best. God is worth our best. Praising God is worthy of our very best.

Selah…interlude. Stop and praise the Lord.

Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.
Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

The author remembered God’s mighty miracles and saving grace, then he kept his vows with a thanks offering. Now he will tell others! He is overwhelmed with joy for what the Lord has done and it is time to share that joy.

He confessed in his heart and was forgiven. God knows our hearts. He knows the truth.

If we ever feel that God is distant, that He is not listening or not responding to our need, it’s then that we must stop and check our hearts. God isn’t distant in those cases. We are. We place a wedge or erect a wall between our hearts and our Father when we have unconfessed sin.

God’s answer to the psalmist’s prayer was the only proof needed that he indeed had asked in faith and integrity of heart. Such a truth was understood as axiomatic among the Hebrew people. As the man born blind stated in the New Testament, “We know that God heareth not sinners.” John 9

James Burton Coffman, pastor, 1905-2006

If thou listen to the devil, God will not listen to thee. If thou refuse to hear God’s commands, he will surely refuse to hear thy prayers.

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892

I just love this! Something great has happened, but it doesn’t stop there. After telling of God’s amazing grace, he stops… “Come and listen to what He has done for me!”

Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me! NKJV

Blessed be God because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me! ESV

Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His favor from me. NASB2020

Hesed, found some 250 times in the Old Testament, expresses an essential part of God’s character. When God appeared to Moses to give the Law a second time, He described Himself as “abounding in” or “filled with” hesed, which is translated “love and faithfulness,” “unfailing love,” “faithful love,” “steadfast love,” “mercy,” and “loyal love” depending on the Bible version.

What is the meaning of the Hebrew word hesed? | GotQuestions.org
The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, "Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.
Exodus 34:6-7a NLT

Father in heaven, thank you for this psalm of praise. Thank you for your unfailing love. Thank you for your promises that are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Give us strength today to stand upon those promises and your word and proclaim your love and faithfulness to those around us. Give us joy and peace to face the day. Amen.

Hexoxo

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